The cathedral at sunrise – January 1, 2010
Most of us have been thinking about our resolutions for the new year.
Some want to lose weight.
Some want to exercise more.
I know those are two of my resolutions.
But I’d like to suggest that everyone add one resolution to their list. Only one. And it isn’t too hard to do.
Eat less meat.
I’ve been a vegetarian for more than 20 years. I became a vegetarian mainly because I am too visual. A cut of meat isn’t just an item on a plate. It is a bellowing cow with a bleeding chunk cut out of its rear.
When we had our farm we raised chickens for eggs and I know first hand how much they love light and air and picking through weeds looking for morsels to eat.
I’m reading Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer right now on my Kindle. And I’m listening to an audio book while I knit – The China Study by T. Colin Campbell. I highly recommend both books, especially for those of my friends who have been battling high blood pressure and heart issues. (you know who you are)
For example, did you know:
- Most chickens never experience the outside world and occupy an average of only 67 square inches of space. (A piece of paper is 88 square inches. Think about it.)
- Because of the confined space and intense breeding for traits like large breasts chickens need to be fed water that is treated with antibiotics as well as growth hormones. They get the antibiotics whether they are sick or not. Bleah.
- Most poultry farms soak the birds once they are killed in a water and bleach solution. You might think that it cleans them, but they are soaking along with blood and excrement, etc. Part of the reason they soak instead of cleaning them some other way is the meat absorbs some of the water, and you pay for it by the pound!
The environmental consequences of so much meat growing is shocking. I made notes about a lot of the terrible statistics, but the inefficient use of water to grow meat instead of produce and the impact of so much manure on our landscape are two of the most important problems stemming from so much meat eating.
And the kicker for me is that we really don’t need to eat so much meat! All the protein a human needs is readily available and of higher quality coming from plants.
So here is my challenge to you. Read some books on the subject and then reduce the amount of meat you eat. If everyone reduced their meat eating by several meals per week, that would be a start. I bet you will feel better, lose a bit of weight, have a healthier heart, and a little extra money, too.